As Chet says, “When we started out, it was like an episode of ‘Breaking Bad.’” By that he means his co-founding and leadership of Albany Molecular Research and his inventions and patents incl. one that led to Inocor, the first of a novel class of drugs used to treat congestive heart failure; the popular allergy medicine Allegra; and many others. And, AMRI’s ultimate sale to Carlyle Group and GTCR. Chet’s our kind of business-and-broader leader: a major success in his “day job” and, much more, a supporter of education, economic growth, scientific innovation and all-things-community through his and his wife, Karen’s, investment and action. The Opalkas led, among other things, the renaissance of Caffe Lena, the site of our 20th Welcome Reception.
“Fuel Your Passion.” That’s Mike Brown’s mantra. Beginning in 2008, in a small coffee shop in Saratoga Springs, this former accountant created the “The world’s strongest coffee,” and in 2012 Death Wish Coffee Company was born. But not before Mike sold his house, moved back to his Mom’s, and then lived in the company warehouse to pay for his entrepreneurial dream. Through sheer guts, creativity and more-than-a-few late-night cups of coffee, Mike and his band of merry men and women won an Intuit Quickbooks-sponsored contest and a 30-second ad on Superbowl 50 (that reportedly cost Intuit $5 million to produce and air). What Mike created was a corporate culture, iconic brand and global phenomenon. Mike will open our eyes, bright-and-early, at our Friday business sessions.
Mayor Meg Kelly
There’s a ‘new sheriff in town, Mayor Meg Kelly. Born and raised in Saratoga, Mayor Kelly worked for 17 years as an LPGA pro golfer, as Executive Director of Saratoga’s Children’s Theatre and, more recently, as Deputy Mayor under Camp David friend, former Mayor Joanne Yepsen. A can-do executive, Mayor Kelly knows how to succeed in the business of government by bringing disparate parties together. What she really understands is community and getting things done. Mayor Kelly welcomes our group to Saratoga.
On the other side of the aisle, there’s Curt Ellis. Former Trump Campaign Senior Advisor and special advisor to the Secretary of Labor in the Trump-Pence transition team, Ellis is an expert on free trade and economic growth. With decades of experience as reporter, writer, producer and communications expert, Ellis has produced stories for NPR, NBC, HBO, CBS’60 Minutes and written for publications including the Financial Times, TIME Magazine and many others. You’ll find Ellis, these days, primarily traveling with Vice President Michael Pence… or at Camp David.
Deborah Hicks Midanek
Author of “The Governance Revolution: What Every Board Member Needs to Know,” Principal of Prevail Investments, Bryn Mawr / Wharton, trusted advisor/Director to The Biltmore Companies and many others, Trustee of Washington’s Committee For Economic Development, and all-around super-smart strategic financial advisor, Ms. Midanek is also personally re-developing and re-making the “sleepy” town of Grenada Mississippi.
In 2018, the Foreign Press Association celebrated its first 100 years as the oldest foreign press association in the hemisphere. David Michaels is its President (and Moderator of our discussion, The Politics of the Media). With no ties to any government, the FPA views itself as free from all national and political bias. In an era of proliferation of so-called “fake news,” in the media, the Foreign Press Association’s stated goal is to place education and professionalism at the center of journalism. In his day job, David is a personal adviser and mentor to heads of state, chairmen, presidents and international CEOs. He’s a strategic thinker extraordinaire. Among other things, he is also Founder of the Humanity-Without-Borders Foundation, an initiative that “acts as a catalyst for the opening of new doors and initiatives for conflict resolution and defusing of racial, religious and cultural hatred.”
“The Most Organized Man in America,” and Oprah’s favorite organizer, teaches us some of the best lessons from his research, writings, and teachings including from his own curriculum at “UnStuff U.” Ways to simplify our lives. Ways to implement ‘mindfulness’ in the office. Ways to get more done, better, faster and with less anxiety. (And, by the way, a great way to remember every password you’ll ever use).
University of Pennsylvania English major, Michael Schein, began his career in media at Spin The Bottle Inc, the production company behind VH1 hit show “Pop Up Video.” Now, he’s an Inc. columnist, contributor to Forbes and Huffington Post, the leader and moderator of New York Tech Alliances’ Interactive Marketing Series and the author of Teenage Road Hogs (MacMillan), all-the-while leading marketing agency, MicroFame Media. Michael is the writer behind, among other things, Forbes “5 Conferences That Will Expand Your Mind” and “5 of the Most Inspiring Conferences of 2018.” Hmmm, we can think of another… Michael’s media clients have included, among others, the Stan Lee Foundation, eBay, and the author of The Medici Effect.
Chuck Stetson is head of the Stetson Family Office, a third and fourth generation private equity firm focused on philanthropy. The Stetson Family Office was created in 1919 by Eugene W. Stetson of the Guaranty Trust Company of NY when he organized the initial public offering of Coca-Cola Company. Stetson, merged Guaranty Trust with then-smaller J.P. Morgan bank, creating Morgan Guaranty and what’s now JP Morgan Chase. Chuck, the third generation to run his family office, is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and philanthropist, who created the Healthcare Impact Foundation, Global Family Office BioForum, Essentials in Education, and Private Equity Investors (a registered investment adviser that’s raised and managed $400+ million through the purchase of secondary interests in VC, buyout, growth equity and mezzanine funds). Mostly, Chuck’s on a mission for all of us to die young… as late in life as possible.
Paul Weiss tax attorney turned JP Morgan banker, turned family office and philanthropy specialist, Randy Kaufman is no stranger to Camp David; she’s been to every one (we think). Perhaps because she went to Middlebury with our founder. A University of Chicago Law School, smart-as-they-come advisor, Randy is one of the Principals of EMM Wealth (a pioneer among “multi-family offices”). Randy has much to teach us about family business, family wealth, philanthropy, and how to bring it all together.
Michael is a columnist for Tribune Media and a long-time friend of Camp David. From his earliest days in journalism at Saratoga’s venerable-but-no-longer The Saratogian, Michael is an astute observer of our world. Now a resident of Naples Florida, he writes for Tribune, Florida Weekly’s Luxe Living and Gulfshore Life, where he focuses on entertainment and luxury… perfect for a discussion of the Politics of the Media, right?! Why? Because we think Michael is a keen observer of pop culture and the subtle political messages in things like popular television shows and advertisements. We thought his insights would be a fun ingredient in an otherwise “political” discussion. As in… Keeping Up With the Kardashians is a ridiculous show, but it’s also a portrayal of a battle-of-values of an ironically-right-leaning Bruce/Caitlin Jenner versus an otherwise ultra-progressive family. One that’s created a series (pun intended) of incredibly successful global enterprises, by the way…
Senior Director and Global Business head of S&P Global Market Intelligence (a Fortune 500 technology company), Pavle Sabic is a man of many talents. Now, he’s the author of Walter The Wanderer: An Otter’s Tale on a Grand and Global Scale (the story is one of the impact of one winning otter as he travels the world, inspiring compassion, reciprocity, kindness and friendship). A Scottish native, Pavle is also an investor in philanthropic technology and an international ski coach. You’ve seen him in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Financial Times, and as a regular broadcast contributor to CNBC in both the US and Europe.
Writer, speaker and Board advisor, Davia Temin is one of the deans of reputation/risk/crisis strategic communications. Through her “Reputation Matters” column in Forbes.com, contributions to the Huffington Post and American Banker, among other publications, and her work with many of America’s leading companies and Boards, Ms. Temin has guided many-a-company through many-a-crisis and will share some of her best strategies and tactics for effective corporate communications with us at Camp David.
Former CEO of Universal Music Classics and Managing Director of global talent agency IMG Artists (the music arm of IMG Group, the legendary talent agency established by Mark McCormack and currently owned by William Morris Endeavor and Silver Lake Partners), Elizabeth Sobol used to be a NYC/Miami person. Now, as President and CEO of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, one of the nation’s premier music and cultural venues, she’s a Saratogian forging stronger partnerships with the New York City Ballet, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Live Nation (bringing the biggest/best music acts in the world to “SPAC” each summer to Saratoga) among others. How do you manage, maintain, grow, build-a-board and fund-raise for a treasure like SPAC? Ask Elizabeth at Camp David.
Author, broadcaster, professor and former President of the United Nations Correspondents Association, Ian Williams understands the press. A former rail worker and union official, Ian spent 13 years workin’ on the railroad following his suspension from college for protesting South American investment. For years, he was prominent in the UK Labour Party and speechwriter for Neil Kinnock its former leader. Some of Williams books include “Political and Cultural Perception of George Orwell British and American Views,” “UNTold: The Real Story of the United nations in Peace and War,” and Tequilla, A Global History.” Does the media have a point of view? Sure says Ian – he’ll explain?
David is a veteran investment banker, investor and board-member. The strategic financial advisor of leading closely-held companies, their owners and boards, David is founder/president of David N. Deutsch & Company (mergers & acquisitions), managing member of The Presidents Council (a group of senior executives who gather regularly for fraternity, education and making group private equity investments), founder of TheBoardAdvisor.com (board advisory), and founder/host of The Saratoga Weekend. Established in 1993, David N. Deutsch & Company is known for the quality and scope of its advice, its long-term relationships, and its success in more than 130 assignments. When David’s not banking, investing or Board-advising, he’s a father of three — one of each – a Triathlete and a student of Krav Maga, the self-defense system of the Israeli Defense Forces.
Hon. Joanne Yepsen
Mayor, City of Saratoga Springs; Principal, Coltivare
Chairman, Stewart’s Shops
Co-Founder, New York City Family Enterprise Center; Partner, Holland & Knight
President, David N. Deutsch & Company; Mng. Ptnr., Presidents Council
Senior Policy Analyst, NYS Common Pension Fund
Strategic Development, SC Johnson: A Family Company
Founder/CEO, SummerTech and Coditum
Managing Director, Hamilton Lane Advisors
Coach Rich Johns
Founder/President, Act With Respect Always
Chief Executive Officer, LeverPoint Management
Author, State of Readiness; Chairman, XONITEK; Founder, Operational Excellence Society
Director-Corporate, S&P Global Market Intelligence
Chairman, Earth Day; Jane M.G. Foster Professor of Law, Cornell Law School
fmr. U.S. Comptroller General; Candidate for Governor of Connecticut